Gov. Jennifer Granholm remains upbeat in her efforts to lead Michigan.

This past Wednesday, following a meeting at the White House, she got the ears of Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "If the U.S. is going to make a long-term commitment to high-speed rail, they're going to need someone to build cars," she remarked to the Associated Press. "I really wanted to put in a plug...for us to make the cars."

Good thinking, Governor. For more then a century, Michigan has proved to the world that it knows how to manufacture automobiles. It's not building and selling as many these days, but there's no reason why the industry couldn't gear up and re-tool to make another transportation-related product.

Granholm based her pitch to Biden and LaHood on the presumption that the first phase of the proposal connecting Detroit and Chicago via high-speed rail is likely to receive approval from the federal DOT when it begins awarding competitive grant money in September. "Because the engineering work has all been done, it puts us in a good position to be able to get some of that first funding," she said.

In this space earlier this spring, we commented favorably on the Obama administration's plan to upgrade a 43-mile rail stretch between Kalamazoo and Niles. The improvements would enable the speed of passenger trains along that section to increase to 110 mph from 95 mph.

Funding for the Kalamazoo-Niles project, which could be completed by the end of this year, would come from $8 billion in federal stimulus money that Obama said will be aimed at improving high-speed rail corridors nationwide.

The area project, of course, is a tiny part of a bigger picture. Granholm pointed out that a high-speed rail corridor linking Detroit and Pontiac to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and St. Louis will spur job creation and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Kirk T. Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, is a strong supporter of enhanced passenger rail travel. In a recent article that he wrote, Steudle pointed out that the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) was created by nine states in the mid-1990s. The effort has evolved into a 3,000-mile system blueprint that the states are slowly implementing and has since grown to become a well-established, 3,000-mile system plan.

The system, Steudle said, is predicated on three needs: 110-mile-per-hour service, significantly increased frequencies and what are being called "next generation" trains that will bring reduced travel times, more reliable service, and more service-focused mobility options to travelers.

We're looking at a tall order, but one that can be filled. Given the uncertainties of gasoline prices, which are now approaching $3 a gallon, expanded and improved passenger rail travel for motorists continues to make sense.

What else makes sense is that Michigan becomes the state that helps fill the order.
On Thursday, June 11, 2009, metro Detroit Panera Bread bakery-cafes are inviting customers to stop in to enjoy samples of the new Chopped Cobb Salad, the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad and a variety of frozen beverages.

Panera’s newest menu addition, the Chopped Cobb Salad, is a hybrid of a traditional Cobb and a chopped salad. This salad features all-natural, antibiotic-free pepper-mustard chicken, Applewood-smoked bacon, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, fresh tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and crisp chopped romaine lettuce tossed with an herb vinaigrette dressing.

The Strawberry Poppyseed Salad, a summer favorite at Panera, also returns to bakery-cafes. Made with freshly-picked romaine lettuce, crunchy pecans, fat-free reduced sugar Poppyseed dressing and an assortment of fresh fruit (including freshly cut strawberries, blueberries, pineapple tidbits and Mandarin oranges), the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad is a lighter choice for warmer weather.

Panera Bread also offers several frozen beverages for those looking to beat the summer heat. The Low-fat Strawberry Smoothie, blended with Stonyfield Farm low-fat, organic vanilla yogurt and a full serving of fruit, is a healthy addition to any meal and makes a nutritious snack. Additionally, the Frozen Lemonade nicely complements any summer salad or sandwich. For those seeking a more decadent treat, Panera’s Frozen Mocha is made with Belgian cocoa, pure vanilla extract made from Madagascan Bourbon vanilla beans and a topping of whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

“Whether you’re planning a picnic, meeting a colleague for lunch or simply escaping the heat of a summer day, Panera’s salads, sandwiches and frozen beverages say summer at its best,” said Lee Carmona, area director of Panera Bread of the Great Lakes Region. “As always, customers can take comfort in knowing that many of their Panera favorites can be customized to fit many dietary needs or taste preferences.”

To find the Panera Bread bakery-cafe nearest you, visit www.panerabread.com.
By Jeremy Selweski

For one evening, the city’s downtown district became a center for debate about of the recent struggles of Detroit’s Big Three automakers and the thousands of local workers impacted by them.

On May 27, the crew of the Public Broadcasting Service’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” visited AJ’s Café, 240 W. Nine Mile Road, for a roundtable discussion about the current state of the American auto industry. PBS News correspondent Paul Solman led the interview with five
United Auto Workers members and various PBS News pundits, focusing on, among other topics, the future of the union’s pension fund if General Motors files for bankruptcy. Lehrer himself wasn’t there.

At press time, the segment was scheduled to air on PBS at 6 p.m. on either May 29 or June 1.

“It was great to be a part of that,” said café owner A.J. O’Neil. “I really appreciate them coming out here to our little café. It was a lot of fun.”

O’Neil believes that PBS selected AJ’s Café as the location for the newscast after learning about its recent Assembly Line Concert, the continuous 288-hour musical tribute to the Big Three and Detroit auto workers held at the café from March 20 to April 1.

“It doesn’t surprise me because of all the activism we’ve been a part of,” he said. “We’re one of the Main Street faces for this challenge. We try to be as proactive as we can: We put on events that create international interest and hopefully make a difference in the world. I think that’s why we resonate with people.”

For O’Neil, the biggest hope is that the efforts of his business will shine a positive spotlight on Ferndale and bring more awareness to the plight of autoworkers throughout the region.

“I really believe people should take time to pay attention to the AJ’s (Cafés) of the world,” he said. “It’s not just about supporting your local coffee shop — it’s about coming out and helping to make an impact. This is something that’s way bigger than me.”

Come out Friday June 12th at 7PM to D’Amatos in Royal Oak for the official Launch Party of the Ferndale-Based Livio Radio featuring Pandora.

Complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres from 7-9 courtesy of Livio and Pandora Internet Radio. Music provided by DJs Urban Kris, Ben Scott, The Golden One, the John Arnold Trio, Pathe Jassi, and Jared Sykes. Party to follow.

The Livio Radio has been recently covered by Fox News National, CNBC, Kanye West’s personal blog, Crave cnet, The Chicago Tribune, Gizmodo, Engadget, and other national press.

More information can be found at http://www.livioradio.com/ and http://www.pandora.com/

For this one night only Livio will be selling the Pandora radio for $99.99 usually $149.99 and you get a free Livio T-Shirt with purchase.

To get on the invited guest list please email mailto:party@livioradio.com?subject=I with your first name, last name, and email address.

Party is open to the public but making reservations is recommended due to limited space.

The top 10 Stanley Cup comebacks include some that are amazing and historical Stanley Cup comebacks only include two three to zero comebacks in NHL history.

The top Stanley Cup comebacks all were considered astonishing upsets:

1. 1942 Final Toronto Versus Detroit

What is still considered the biggest comeback in the history of hockey, or any sport for that matter, is the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals. In an amazing comeback, Toronto won the championship after being behind, with the score three to zero at the start of the fourth game. This is the only time in the history of all sports that a team has come from behind this far and won a championship series.

2. 1962 Semifinal Detroit Versus Chicago

In the 1962 semifinals, Detroit was behind by two games, and made an amazing comeback to win the series, with a score of four to two. Many fans and commentators alike believed that after the loss of the first two games the Detroit did not stand a chance, but they pulled off an astounding comeback to move on to the finals.

3. 1975 Quarterfinal New York Versus Pittsburgh

This is only the second time in the history of hockey that a team has made a three to zero comeback in a seven game series. At the start of the fourth game, New York was behind with a score of three games to zero. The Islanders came back to win all four of the last games, and the championship.

4. 1987 Division Final Detroit Versus Toronto

In 1987, at the division finals, Detroit made an amazing comeback to win the series after starting out behind. In the beginning Toronto held the lead, but by the fourth game Detroit was making it clear that they would not go quietly. This comeback was unexpected, which made it even more astonishing.

5. 1999 Colorado Versus Detroit

With Detroit ahead by two at the start of this series, it looked like Colorado did not stand a shot. Starting with the third game in the series, there was a whole new perspective when Colorado came from behind with a sweeping comeback and won, with a final score of Colorado four and Detroit two.

6. 2001 Los Angeles Versus Detroit

In this game, Los Angeles was behind with the score two to zero. Los Angeles came back to win, with a final score of four to two, in part thanks to Chris Osgood losing four goals in a row for Detroit. This comeback ended Osgood’s first stint as a member of the Red Wings.

7. 2002 Detroit Versus Vancouver

In this series, it looked like Detroit was going to lose going into the third game because Vancouver was ahead two to zero. Instead, Detroit made a stunning comeback and won the series four to two. The Canucks lost all four of the last games, handing the win to the Red Wings.

8. 1998 Western Conference Quarterfinal Edmonton Versus Colorado

In this seven game series leading up to the Stanley Cup, Edmonton made a terrific comeback and went on to win. At the start of the fifth game the score was three to one against Edmonton, but the team proceeded to win the remaining three games to come out the victor. This comeback was one of the ten most amazing in the history of the NHL.

9. 1994 Western Conference Quarterfinal Vancouver Versus Calgary

During this series, Vancouver made a great three to one comeback. The team was behind by two at the start of the fifth game, but Vancouver overtook the lead that Calgary had and went on to win the series in a comeback that rocked the fans and players both.

10. 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinal Minnesota Versus Colorado

In this stunning three to one comeback, Minnesota was behind significantly. That did not stop this team from moving forward and winning the last three games of the series to move on. The final score was Minnesota four and Colorado three.


Here's another reason to go out on a fine spring day: The Birmingham Farmers Market kicks off today, Sunday, June 7, at parking Lot No. 6 on North Old Woodward.

The annual event will feature more than 30 booths filled with locally grown produce, plants, fresh prepared foods and hand-crafted items. Musical performances will add to the atmosphere, and this year there will be a Kid Zone at the market where the little ones can try their hands at arts and crafts.

The market, staged by the Birmingham Principal Shopping District, is a grand event that offers a perfect activity for a nice day. And it's good for the community. Along with providing a venue for Michigan made and grown products, it brings people into the city as well as offering fine products to city residents.

These days, every town, including Birmingham, can use the business. Bringing more life to downtown is a great side benefit of the market.

Farmers Markets will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through Oct. 25 at Lot No. 6, which is north of Maple, across from Booth Park.

Grab the kids or just go yourself and have a good time. There will be plenty to see and do — and buy. It will not only be an opportunity for an enjoyable outing for the family, but also helps boost the city.

And that's always a good thing.

Associated Press

A judge has halted the demolition of Tiger Stadium just hours after crews began tearing down what's left of the Detroit ballpark. A temporary restraining order was issued by Wayne County Circuit Judge Isidore Torres.

Crews are barred from "engaging in any demolition activity" at the Detroit stadium until a Monday morning hearing before Judge Prentis Edwards. The judge then will decide whether to extend the ballpark's reprieve from the wrecking ball.

The injunction was sought by the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy.

The Irishman Films at Tiger Stadium

Ben Leubsdorf
Associated Press Writer

A feature film being shot at Tiger Stadium may mark the last time the old ballpark is used before it becomes a memory itself.

"The Irishman" tells the story of 1970s Cleveland-area union organizer and mobster Danny Greene. The picture stars Ray Stevenson, Val Kilmer, Vincent D'Onofrio and Christopher Walken.

The movie is being shot in Detroit through June, and filmmakers wanted to use "some kind of iconic landmark that was in Detroit ... even though we're going to play it for Cleveland," said Bart Rosenblatt, the film's producer.

Tiger Stadium, which opened in 1912 as Navin Field, was a perfect choice, Rosenblatt said, even if it meant tweaking the script to have it replace a boxing arena in one scene.

"It has a great look," he said.

Filming at the stadium was set for Thursday evening.

The Tigers departed the ballpark for nearby Comerica Park after the 1999 season. Wrecking crews went to work last June, and much of the stadium was torn down by fall.

A section stretching from dugout to dugout was left standing while a nonprofit group sought to raise money to preserve and redevelop the stadium as a commercial building with a working ballfield. But the city's Economic Development Corp. board voted Tuesday to reject the $33.4 million plan, saying the funding wasn't in place.

Complete demolition could begin as early as Monday, according to the city's Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Supporters of saving the stadium gathered there Wednesday evening after demolition equipment began to arrive.

Rosenblatt grew up in Boston attending games at Fenway Park -- which opened the same day as Tiger Stadium -- and said it's a shame the Detroit landmark soon may be gone.

"There aren't many of these ballparks left," he said.

An Old Ballpark and 35 Years of Tigers

By Mike Ball

A couple of weeks ago my family made our first trip to Comerica Park to see a Detroit Tigers game. I have to admit that while we’re all long-time Tiger fans, I have not been in a big hurry to go down there – and only partly because I resent having to apply for a home equity loan to pay for a couple of plastic cups full of lukewarm beer.

My biggest issue with Comerica Park is that I really loved the old Tiger Stadium, a place where you could save a few dollars and buy “obstructed view” seats. This meant sitting directly behind a steel I-beam support, so pretty much all you would see of the game was that beam and the hot dog vendor.

Even so, there was always a lot of noise in that old park, the hot dogs were pretty good, and on your way in and out you got to feast your eyes on the greenest green you’ll find anywhere in the world – Tiger Stadium grass.

I think part of the attraction was the history of the place. The first ballpark built at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull was Bennett Park, carved in 1895 out of an old-growth forest. The management at the time was way out ahead of the curve on that whole idea of obstructed view seating, since they decided to leave eight of the biggest elm and oak trees in the outfield.

In 1912, when they remodeled the park for the new century and named it Navin Field, they took out the trees and installed a 125-foot flag pole in center field that set a record as the tallest obstacle ever built in fair territory in a major league ball park. For years the charm of watching a game from the bleachers was made even better by the occasional thud of a center fielder smashing into that flag pole.

I should point out that I did not become a Tiger fan until I moved to Michigan in the mid-1970s and fell in love with the old ball park. Back then the Tigers themselves were pretty much an acquired taste, like drinking Irish whiskey or having a mule kick you repeatedly in the side of the head. You see, the Tigers had won a World Series in 1968, and something in that experience apparently convinced them that they would better off if they were to almost completely avoid winning for about the next 15 years.

By the mid-‘70s, Detroit’s success-oriented fans were staying away from the Tigers in droves, which in turn meant that my wife and I could usually wander down to Tiger Stadium on the just about any day and drop a few dollars on great seats to a game featuring the strange and wonderful assortment of lunatics that made up the Tigers’ roster.

When I first got to Detroit, the Tigers had a first baseman named Norm Cash, who once came to bat against Nolan Ryan swinging a table leg. They also had a third baseman named Aurelio Rodriguez, who could throw a ball over to first about as hard as anyone on the planet, but who might as well have been swinging Cash’s table leg at the plate. He was from Mexico, and in interviews he sounded exactly like the old Saturday Night Live parody of the Latin ball player; “Baseball ‘been ‘berry, ‘berry good to me.”

Al Kaline, one of the greatest right fielders of all time, retired in 1974 and become a broadcaster. In 1971 Kaline had turned down a raise that would have given him the first $100,000 salary in Tigers history, saying that he didn’t feel that he had played well enough that year to earn it. In 1972 he played a little better and took the dough.

Does anybody besides me think Mr. Kaline could have done the Detroit Pistons a favor and had a little mid-season chat with Allen Iverson?

There was a pitcher named John Hiller, who once showed up sporting a nasty-looking Fu Manchu and a shaved head just to psych out batters, and another one named Dave Rozema who messed up his knee and probably his career trying to execute a flying kung-fu kick during a bench-clearing brawl.

And then there was Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. My wife and I happened to be sitting behind third base on the evening Fidrych made his first home start, crawling around on his knees to groom the mound, talking to the ball and bounding around the infield to congratulate teammates for making nice plays. He also threw the liveliest fastball I’ve ever seen, and a diabolical slider.

After one loony but brilliant season, The Bird tore his rotator cuff trying to pitch on a bad knee, and never made it back to major league form. The gentle grace and good humor he used to deal with his too-short career made his accidental death earlier this year seem all the more tragic.

Over the years I got to see a lot of baseball and even another World Series victory in Tiger Stadium. Some of the players were great, some just greatly interesting: Alan Trammell, John B. Wockenfuss, Lou Whitaker, Rusty Staub, Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, Lance Parrish, Cecil Fielder, Todd Jones and many others. Now, the Stadium and all those guys are gone from the game.

OK, I’ll admit it – Comerica Park is really nice. There are good restaurants, real bathrooms, a Ferris wheel and no obstructed view seats. The Tigers of today are all fine professional athletes who seem to know quite a bit more about winning than the guys in the ‘70s did.

And the grass in Comerica is pretty green, too. Maybe it’s not the greenest possible green that it was all those years ago at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull – but I guess I can try to get used to it.

Wind turbine company Danotek Motion Technologies has opened a new manufacturing center in Canton, Michigan.

The 40,000 square foot facility has the capacity to produce up to 4000 of Danotek’s patent-pending variable speed permanent magnet generators per year, the company says. The machines have a capacity ranging from 200 kilowatts to 3 megawatts.

“Michigan has the chance to become a leader in wind energy,” said Dan Gizaw, president and CEO of Danotek. “The state's existing manufacturing and engineering infrastructure, skilled labour force and national ranking in wind generation capacity make it a perfect location for Danotek operations.”
Randal Yakey
The Oakland Press

The Pontiac Silverdome may become the focal point for a motion picture feature by Hollywood movie producer Steven Spielberg.

During a tour of the new Motown Motion Picture LLC studios at 1999 Centerpoint Parkway, company president Linden Nelson said he met Spielberg at a Hollywood gathering, where Spielberg told him he wanted to use the Silverdome in a movie project he was developing.

“Spielberg is looking forward to doing things in Michigan. He is very interested in the Silverdome,” Nelson said. “He is looking to do a movie to star the Silverdome.”

Nelson said the movie may hasten the sale of the dome.

Nelson also said that Ariel Emanuel, founder of the Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif., and current partner William Morris-Endeavor Entertain ment, is on board with the Motown Motion Picture studio project.

Emanuel represents Hollywood stars such as Martin Scorsese, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Larry David, Michael Moore, Jude Law, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Wahlberg, among others.

Nelson said that Emanuel has already promised to develop 20 films at the Motown Motion Picture site.

Among the dignitaries touring the new studio home, a former General Motors property, were Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, auto recovery director Ed Montgomery and representatives of the city.

“It looks like a movie studio,” said Granholm, as she made her way though the lobby of the 410,000-square-foot building.

During a short comment session after the tour, Granholm spoke on diversifying Michigan’s economy and the importance of projects like the Motown Motion Picture LLC studio complex.“We are focused like a laser on saving what we can of our auto industry and diversifying the economy at the same time,” Granholm said.

A number of colleges and universities are expected to be involved in the Motown Motion Picture project, including Oakland University and Baker College.

Pontiac City Council President Arthur McClellan Jr., who used to work at the GM site, believes the building will be a ideal place to build a movie studio. McClellan works for General Motors.

“I am really excited about the educational component,” McClellan said. “I am looking forward to the groundbreaking.”

Nelson said he expects 700 to 800 students a day to be taking classes at the studio when the classes begin. The film classes should begin by September. There also is expected to be a 200,000-square-foot addition for sound stages added to the building.

Three thousand jobs are expected to be created at the site and an additional 10,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the studio being placed in Pontiac, Nelson said.

Nelson said the sale of the building by GM to Motown Motion Picture LLC has been completed.
PR Web

Novi Artist Nina Cambron's one-of-a-kind art glass sculptures are adorning windows & desks in the Midtown Manhattan accounting firm, Eisner, LLP. Cambron incorporated the company's logo & colors into each of the 100 commissioned fused glass pieces.

Nina Cambron is known throughout the art community as an innovator in fused glass. Eisner, LLP, is known as one of the premier accounting and consulting firms in the United States. Eisner found Cambron via her website,http://www.ninacambron.com/ while searching for an artist to create unique handmade gifts for the partners in their Northeast office. Ms. Cambron bid on the project and was commissioned to design and execute 100 one-of-a-kind glass sculptures for the Manhattan office.

Previously, Cambron's work could only be found in galleries and private homes throughout the world. Entering the corporate arena was new to the artist, who embraced it as an exciting venture, wrought with potential. "I'd never done a commission of that magnitude - 100 unique pieces, in the same color palette, the same size, incorporating a corporate logo. With 6 months lead time, I was able to complete a few pieces at a time, allowing me to keep the sculptures fresh."

The discipline of the project reminded the artist of art school - an assignment to depict an object in numerous ways, in numerous techniques. The most gratifying part to Cambron, though, is hearing how the artwork was received and how the office is now spotted with her work. "I'm planning on visiting New York City this summer and Eisner's offices will be my first stop!"

Cambron recently launched a page on her website introducing her foray into corporate gifts.

She hopes to grow this segment of her business in the coming year and considers this the perfect opportunity to encourage the buying of American Made Craft. Cambron is a member of the American Made Alliance, whose mission is to preserve, promote and protect the value of American made products and their producers.

Fused glass, sometimes referred to as kiln formed glass, is a centuries old process that involves the layering of sheet glass that is then fired in a kiln at 1460 degrees fahrenheit.

Nina Cambron has been a self employed artist for over 30 years. She attended Cleveland Institue of Art & University of Michigan where she received a BFA degree. She is represented by over 50 galleries in the US. She maintains a studio in a suburb of Detroit.
Rick Bunkley
New York Times

New-vehicle sales in the United States climbed to their highest levels of the year in May.

The Ford Motor Company, said its market share rose to the highest level in three years. Ford said it would increase production by 6 percent, or 52,000 vehicles, through September.

The seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate for the industry was 9.91 million, the highest so far this year. Until 2008, automakers had been selling about 17 million vehicles a year for much of the last decade. G.M., once it restructures and emerges from bankruptcy, has predicted it can break even if industry sales are at least 10 million a year.

May was the best sales month of 2009 for General Motors.

“Does it mean we’ll continue to improve and we’re out of the woods? No, but it was a good month,” Ron Pinelli, the president of MotorIntelligence.com, said. “It’s certainly positive in that it’s not getting worse. All things considered you can’t expect some crazy miracle overnight.”

For the second consecutive month, Ford outsold Toyota.

“It’s become clear to the consumer that we’re going to emerge from this, that we’re going to be around to keep providing products to the marketplace and take care of their service needs and that G.M.’s going to be a viable enterprise,” Mark LaNeve, G.M.’s vice president for sales, service and marketing, said in a conference call Tuesday.

“I think we see from the May results that we’re going to be O.K.,” he added.
Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C. has been named one of Michigan’s economic bright spots by CORP! business magazine.

The firm was honored today in Troy, along with 49 other Michigan businesses, at the CORP! 2009 Michigan Economic Bright Spot awards ceremony.

According to CORP! magazine publisher, Jennifer Kluge, “Our state has reason to celebrate those companies who stand out from the crowd. They have made a conscious decision to stay in Michigan, despite opportunities to locate outside of the state. They have also experienced expansion and economic development.”

Nemeth Burwell, the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes, was recognized as one of Michigan’s economic bright spots because it has been adding attorneys and support staff.

“We are pleased to be a part of an awards program that looks positively at Michigan’s economic vitality. Our firm growth has been from the ground up and not the result of mergers or acquisitions. We have been able to grow through strategic hires at our own pace, reinforcing that our strategy is the right one for the firm, regardless of economic conditions,” explains Nemeth Burwell partner, Linda Burwell.
Associated Press

As of today's American League ballot update, Miguel Cabrera is in fourth place for the first base position, about 150,000 votes out of the lead.

Placido Polanco is in fifth place for the second base position and Curtis Granderson is among the top 15 vote-getters for for outfielders. Adam Everett, Brandon Inge, Gerald Laird, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordoñez are also still in the running. However, the Tigers need your help to guarantee a Tigers starter at the 2009 All-Star game!

HURRY!!! Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2009

Click Here to cast your vote for your Tiger!

The Stanley Cup(cake) Bake-off Competition!

Detroit’s Cupcake Station and Pittsburgh’s CoCo’s Cupcake Café Compete for the Stanley Cup(cake)!

The Cupcake Station in Birmingham is in their own Stanley Cup(cake) competition with Pittsburgh-based CoCo’s Cupcake Café to see who has the most cupcake loving fans in hockey.

For every Wings or Pens cupcake purchased, a goal is added to the Goals Chalkboard located in each store. At the end of the series, one cupcake bakery will be able to claim the highest scoring, most dedicated, cupcake loving fans in hockey, and will be the rightful winner of The Stanley Cup(cake). Each location will be updating the “opposing” team’s score daily.

From now until the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Cupcake Station will be offering special Red Wing cupcakes. Choose from an Octopus cupcake, a “Go Red Wings” cupcake or one in the team colors of Red and White. Why not score a hat trick and try all three?!

CoCo’s customers can choose between black and gold cupcakes, ones the spell out “Let’s Go Pens,” or those that show their support for a favorite player.

The Cupcake Station is in Birmingham, at 136 N. Old Woodward Ave., just north of Maple. The Cupcake Station was founded in 2006 and serves up fresh-baked cupcakes unlike any you’ll find in other area bakeries. We proudly cheer for our Red Wings. Let’s keep the Cup(cake) in Detroit! For more information, check out www.cupcakestation.com or call 248-593-1903.

Monday Madness - any size Coffee, only $1 all day.
Two Buck Tuesdays - All Regular Size Cupcakes are $2 and Minis are $1.
Wild Wednesdays - Buy 2 Cupcakes and receive 1 free all day.
Thirsty Thursdays - All Fountain Drinks are 75 cents.
Frosting Fridays - A Shot of Frosting is only 25 cents.
Shop till you drop Saturdays - All Cookies are $1, while they last.
Sunday Sundaes - Buy a Frozen Yogurt and Receive 2 Free Toppings. Walk-In purchases only.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has selected new breast cancer research conducted at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Karmanos' potentially ground-breaking findings identify a promising new therapeutic target for aggressive hormone receptor negative breast cancer tumors.

The research appears at http://www.asco.org/ and http://www.jco.org/ and is entitled "Enhancer of Zeste Homologue 2 (EZH-2) expression in breast cancer: a novel marker and potential target."

Karmanos scientists tested 84 cases of hormone receptor negative human breast carcinomas and discovered that the protein EZH-2 was expressed in 74 percent of those cases. Hormone receptor negative breast carcinoma is considered an aggressive cancer and one that is hard to treat. The finding suggests that EZH-2 could be an important therapeutic target in this patient population.

"We were interested in looking at a new target," said Zeina Nahleh, M.D., co-director of the Breast Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine in hematology and oncology at Wayne State UniversitySchool of Medicine. "We wanted to see how much expression of the protein was present. We were surprised that 74 percent of tumors expressed that EZH-2 protein."
Think Detroit PAL and BLUE for Kids in Detroit

Lisa Allmendinger
Ann Arbor News

Six Chelsea baseball and softball fields will get a facelift next spring thanks to a $12,000 matching grant from the Detroit Tigers Foundation.

The Chelsea Recreation Council's fundraising project, For the Love of Baseball and Softball, includes plans for new backstops and netting to catch foul balls as well as safety fences, benches for players, removable pitching rubbers, infield compound and clay bricks.

"This is the first major grant for the Rec Council,'' said Jason Lindauer, Chelsea City Council liaison to the group.

Because of budget constraints, the fields have been neglected, said Jeremy Hodges, assistant recreation director, yet participation in baseball and softball programs has soared from 491 players in 2003 to 589 players registered for the upcoming season.

The Rec Council hopes to raise $70,456 before the end of the year for the project and plans phased-in improvements and a maintenance program beginning next spring.

Fittingly, the Rec Council has planned a fundraising trip to a Tigers game as it works to raise the $12,000 match before Dec. 1.

Chelsea Recreation, which is funded by participation fees, provides youth in the Chelsea School District with "quality opportunities to develop lifelong leisure skills,'' Hodges said.

More than 4,400 people have participated in its programs since its inception in 1971.

For more information about the project, go online to www.chelsearec.com.

Larry Lage
Associated Press

Jonathan Ericsson will have a pretty good tale to tell his grandkids someday.

Ericsson scored for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, helping them beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 to take a 2-0 lead, and got the best of superstar Evgeni Malkin three times on the same shift.

Not bad for a defenseman who played just four days after having his appendix removed.
"We've got really good team doctors here, so they take care of that so I can get out there," Ericsson said. "It doesn't bother me at all right now."

After Ericsson's goal made it 1-1 early in the second, he sure did bother Malkin on a shift later in the period.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Swede stood up Malkin to thwart his rush with about 12 minutes left in the period, then used his big body to get the MVP finalist off the puck again.

Malkin reacted by interfering with Ericsson, putting Detroit on the power play.
The Red Wings scored just after the penalty was killed, generating enough pressure that Valtteri Filppula's backhander gave them a 2-1 lead.

Ericsson is one of the young players performing for the defending Stanley Cup champions after being forced to develop in the minor leagues.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland likes his prospects "overripe" before they get a chance to play in the NHL.

The 25-year-old Ericsson was buried at Grand Rapids in the AHL until getting called up in March because defenseman Andreas Lilja was sidelined with a concussion.

Ericsson played 19 times in the regular season, scoring once and adding three assists.

In 17 playoff games, he has three goals — including on in his playoff debut in the first round against Columbus — and six points. Ericsson missed only one game after abdominal pain the morning of Game 5 in the Western Conference finals sent him to the hospital.

"He's a real good player," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "He's got the long reach. He's got the ability to get his hands out and get you on his back and make that good pass to get you going with speed.

"He's a guy who is going to be, I think, an elite player in the league for a long time."

Plenty of teams had a shot at drafting him because he lasted until the 291st — and final — selection in the 2002 NHL draft.
Steve Kowalski
Mirror Staff Writer

With the Detroit Red Wings advancing to the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, fans are eager to get their hands on tickets.

At Superior Fish Company in Royal Oak, owner Kevin Dean is just as interested in landing the biggest octopus.

The sea creature is the traditional mascot of Red Wings playoff runs, its eight tentacles signifying the number of wins it once took to win a Stanley Cup.

Each time the Wings reach the finals, Dean fills the Superior showcase with the biggest octopus available on order.

Its biggest on record, weighing 52 pounds, with a height of 7 feet, 2 inches and wingspan of more than 12 feet, was aptly named “Octo-zilla,” Dean said. Also dropping by have been “Octo-Al,” named after the octopus swinging Zamboni driver Al Sobotka, and “Oscar the Octopus,” according to Dean.

The name for this year's import?

“We're toying with the idea of calling it ‘Octo-dad,'” Dean said.

Superior Fish, at 309 E. 11 Mile Road in downtown Royal Oak, has gained notoriety over the years as the place to go for octopi.

Dean said the National Hockey League called in advance to find out Superior's plans to hype the Stanley Cup finals. In the past, the octopus/Wings connection has led to televised spots locally, nationally and internationally, he said.

Throwing octopi onto the ice at Wings games is a tradition rarely observed anymore, though one landed in Wednesday's Game 5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, clinching the NHL's Western Conference championship.

Dean prefers Wings' fans eat their octopi. An Octopus Taste Fest was planned before Game 1 of Saturday's final round at Superior, he said.


Some view Detroit as a symbol of a vast industrial failure. Delta Air Lines sees it as a jewel. "We're most excited about the future of Detroit, its role as the primary Asian gateway from the East Coast," says Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president of Delta, which acquired Northwest and its hub here in October. The deal makes Detroit the second-biggest hub, after Atlanta, for the world's largest airline.

"Not only is the airport beautiful, but to fly from the East Coast, it is the most direct route to Asia." Transportation infrastructure has always been the key to economic growth, says professor John Kasarda of the University of North Carolina. "Detroit Metro Airport is the region's primary infrastructure asset (and) the speedy connectivity it provides to area businesses can help Detroit's economy transform to new sunrise industries."

"Detroit is a very large city, in the top metropolitan areas, and an optimal hub," Hauenstein said, in an interview. "Not only is the airport beautiful, but to fly from the East Coast, it is the most direct route to Asia." Detroit-Wayne County Airport is the country's 12th busiest, with about 36 million passengers annually.

Already, Delta and its partners fly non-stop to Tokyo, Nagoya, Amsterdam, Paris and London, with flights to Shanghai and Rome scheduled to begin June 1. One-stop service to cities throughout Asia is available through Northwest's Tokyo hub. And "We think Detroit to Asia can be larger," Hauenstein says.

Amazingly, the Detroit that Hauenstein sees goes largely unnoticed by many, particularly in a city so busy feeling sorry for itself that it can barely conceive of such vast potential in its midst.

Throughout history, the most important cities have been transportation hubs, says John Kasarda, a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. "In the 18th century, the great cities were ports," Kasarda says. "In the 19th, they were railroad cities. In the 20th, they were highway cities. In the 21st century, they will be cities with international airline connections."

Clearly, a continued role as a primary gateway to Asia and Europe can help to assure Detroit's future, he says, noting: "Detroit Metro Airport is the region's primary infrastructure asset (and) the speedy connectivity it provides to area businesses can help Detroit's economy transform to new sunrise industries."

John Carroll, executive director of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, says companies from around the world see value in locating in Detroit, still an automotive center with an expanding global airport.

"Quite frankly, the merger is going to strengthen the airport and Detroit's position," Carroll says. Like many major hub cities, Detroit is keen on presenting its best face at the airport, where each year millions of connecting passengers gather impressions of the area.

GM's Rebirth Begins Now

David Olive
Toronto Star

In the weeks leading up to the expected bankruptcy of this century-old icon, majority sentiment in the U.S., and to a lesser extent here, has been hostile about rewarding a chronically incompetent enterprise with a taxpayer-funded bailout.

So should Washington, Ottawa and Queen's Park pony up some $60 billion (U.S.) to finance GM's restructuring under bankruptcy?

Yes. A humbled GM can change.

Post-bankruptcy, a leaner and much healthier GM will continue to put bread on the table for tens of thousands of employees, about 4,000 suppliers, and several thousand dealership employees that often are the business mainstay in small-town North America.

GM remains the U.S.'s biggest manufacturer, still a powerhouse of engineering and technological breakthroughs, most visibly with its all-electric Chevrolet Volt. GM is America's biggest purchaser of information technology.

Entire states in the industrial Midwest and Canadian cities such as Oshawa, Oakville, Windsor and St. Catharines rely on GM and its employees for an outsized portion of their property and income-tax revenue.

All of which is moot, if GM is ultimately destined, as many believe, for the scrapyard in the sky. Somehow, I don't think so.

GM will emerge from bankruptcy with only one-quarter or so of the debt it held earlier this year.

GM's hourly wage costs, after enormous concessions by the Canadian Auto Workers and the United Auto Workers, are now in line with wage rates at "transplants" – the U.S. and Canadian factories operated by foreign-based automakers. The UAW has given up its right to strike until 2015.

GM will have cut its fixed costs to levels enabling it to compete on price with foreign-based rivals.

CEO Fritz Henderson told reporters last week,"We will come out of this rid of some of the historic legacy costs that have been dragging us down for the last 20 years or so," Bob Lutz, GM vice-chairman, said in a Thursday speech. "We will come out of it with an all-new focus on product development."

In an off-the-record briefing of reporters that same day, an Obama administration official said: "GM should be highly, highly profitable given the new cost structure that is being put in place, given the vast reduction of liability that has been achieved."

Fact: "Auto companies rarely die," CEO Henderson reminded reporters last week.

He's not whistling in the dark, having overseen in the past few weeks the drastic makeover of GM that critics have demanded for decades. And he's right – out of national pride, France, Germany, Japan, China, Russia and others routinely subsidize profit-challenged local automakers.

Focused on just four brands rather than eight, Buick and GMC will no longer be deprived of new-product development funds. For the first time, Buick will have close to a full line of models. And GM will have a $1.3-billion annual marketing budget for each of Chevrolet and Cadillac, double the current ad spend, and close to what Toyota commits to its namesake and Lexus brands.

That's crucial, because GM quality and reliability have vastly improved in the past decade (Buick typically tops or is near the top of J.D. Power quality surveys), but GM has lacked the money to tell that story to potential customers that first turned away from GM decades ago. A clean-slate GM has a decent shot at winning customers among Gen Y motorists (ages 22 to 32).

At 70 million people, that group is larger than either Gen X or the baby-boom generation.

Certainly GM has the J.D. Power- and Consumer Reports-acclaimed vehicles for making converts, including the Chevy Malibu, Impala, HHR and the Cadillac STS sedan.

One of the nice things about not being No. 1 is that rivals aren't all gunning for you. With half the market, GM had the most to lose over the past three decades. Now everyone from Kia Motors to Ford Motor Co. will have Toyota in their sights, instead.

And Detroit has a spokesman in Barack Obama, who at a news conference two weeks ago sang the praises of the Ford hybrid parked in his Chicago garage.

"A year or two of Obama emphasizing the restructured GM and Chrysler," U.S. marketing consultant Dennis Keene told Business Week recently, "which he has staked his reputation and taxpayer money on, and you could start to see Gen Y take a lot more interest in these brands and looking at them in a new light."

Alluding to some of the unexpected roles he has taken on as President, Obama joked at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner a few weeks ago that Car & Driver had named him its "CEO of the Year."

We can only hope.

Our Detroit musical heritage is legendary. Let's face it ... you don't become known as"Motown" for tying your shoes. A song like "Detroit Rock City" wasn't written because Detroit is a lousy venue for a concert. And nobody is going to write a song titled "Detroit City (I Wanna Go Home)" if the place sucks.

People all over the "metro-Detroit area" consider themselves Detroiters. Think about it ... if you're out of town, you describe your general location in terms of Detroit. You are either from Detroit, just north of Detroit, south of Detroit, but it's always Detroit ... the professional sports teams we root for are all about Detroit. The Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions ...

It's Sunday. Relax, enjoy some original Detroit music and remember, we all have a lot more in common than we have in differences.

Justin Verlander Draws Comparison to Nolan Ryan

Steve Kornacki

Justin Verlander reminds Detroit Tigers radio analyst Jim Price of a Hall of Fame pitcher he faced as a catcher for the Tigers.

"When we signed him, Dave Dombrowski asked me who Justin reminded me of," Price said, recalling a conversation with the Detroit general manager after Verlander was the second overall pick in 2004 draft. "I said Nolan Ryan because of his power fastball and power curve."

And there's something else he has in common with Ryan.

"How many guys throw harder as the game goes on?" Price asked. "Not many. The only two I can think of are Nolan Ryan and Bob Veale, when he pitched for Pittsburgh."

Veale led the majors with 250 strikeouts in 1964 for the Pirates, and Verlander currently leads the American League with 85 strikeouts. Only Johan Santana of the New York Mets has more in the majors with 86.

"And it isn't just the velocity," Price continued. "He's putting it where he wants. He is a power arm showing everybody the art of pitching. He's like Zack Greinke of Kansas City that way."

Verlander, who starts at tonight against the Baltimore Orioles, said gaining velocity late in the game is something always has done.

"I can throw as hard in the first inning as the last inning," he said. "It's important to establish a rhythm to maintain the higher velocity later."

Verlander often throws some of his hardest pitches at 98 and 99 mph in his final inning. He was doing that on the final pitches of his 1-0 shutout of the Cleveland Indians on May 8, when his 112th pitch was 98 mph.

Tigers catcher Gerald Laird shook his head and smiled.

"Most guys tend to wear down," Laird said. "But his fastball gets better as the game goes on. It's exploding more out of his hand as the game goes on. That's pretty special."

Verlander is 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA in his past six starts, and is 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA for the season. He couldn't consistently find a groove in early starts, but now he's on a roll that has many grouping him with Toronto's Roy Halladay and Greinke as the best pitchers in the league.

John Kruk, on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," pointed to video of Verlander dealing and said, "Look at the confidence now. There's just an air about him."

'One from Six Minute Men on Vimeo.

J.Mills and Matt Dibble

In the shadows of an abandoned store front we find an amazing
blueprint for life. After months of unemployment and the
responsibility of caring for multiple people, including a mother with
MS, ‘One had no choice but to go out and make a job. He lives a life
fit to tell us that “…the world clearly needs music.”

Sean Halpin, after graduating from UCLA, worked for 6 years in aerospace manufacturing, operated for many years in design and engineering for the Big Three automakers, used reverse engineering for the restoration of classic automobiles and Chicago historical buildings, and fulfilled the dreams of small business owners by satisfying their product requests. Sean has been a small business owner since 1995. Halpin Design (established in 2001) has become a much respected design firm among the automotive leaders and many full-service supply companies.

Sean was taken aback one day when a woman named Mary walked through his door looking very serious, and asked to speak with him about a special project. She needed a specific prosthetic device. She wanted a prosthesis she could wear in her bra, designed to have all the comfort she once had before her life changed with breast cancer. Sean's heart immediately poured out to her. He offered her a chair and replied, "let's talk".

Halpin says: "I lost both my mother and father to cancer within 90 days of each other in 2007. The experience changed my life forever. I realized that I have the gifts, talents, and manufacturing experience to deliver the most incredible, natural, symmetrical prosthetic a women could ever want." Sean believed he could take two elements of manufacturing and design and implement them to create the perfect prosthesis.

White light scanning is a state-of-the-art technology that Halpin discovered while designing cars for Saturn in 1993. The scan machine, with its gentle projector-like bulbs, provides safe scanning and very accurate digitized data to develop an image with the most intricate detail.

The surface design process that Sean developed led him to be high above his competitors and produce the highest quality surface products in the automotive and retail markets.

When he combined the white light scanning and surface design process, Sean realized he had something special.

Sean entered the prosthetic market with a staff of passionate professionals committed to delivering the highest quality post-mastectomy product to each individual that walks through his door. The team has dedicated their research to help women lead fuller lives after breast surgery.

After what his mom endured with her cancer, Sean wanted to make a difference for women going through the same pain. Sean knew his product would give women around the world an exciting choice for themselves, and he knew instinctively what to call this vibrant company...

For more information on Proud Mary Prosthetics, click here
Judy Keen

Excerpts from "Detroit Community Groups Work for City's New Glory Days"

There is something more in the City of Detroit: HOPE.

"There's fire in the ashes and good things happening everywhere," says Jerry Smith, a Capuchin friar who runs two soup kitchens that serve 2,000 meals a day and have seen a 10% increase in demand. "There are reserves of life and strength in us that we never imagine are there until we absolutely need them."

The bleak statistics saturating the headlines motivate rather than discourage the individuals and non-profit groups trying to revive the American dream here. They are training displaced workers, feeding the poor, providing medical care, planting vegetable gardens on vacant lots and planning a new Detroit that's smaller, greener and less dependent on the auto industry.

"It's never going to be the same city that it was, but maybe it will be a better city," says Mary McDougall, a Detroit native and executive director of Operation Able, a group that trains older displaced workers.

The city's believers say Detroit has resilient residents who will work hard and make changes to help it rebound. "Detroit isn't dying," says Harold Schwartz, 60, who was laid off by an auto-parts supplier. "Too many people love the city to let that happen."

Officials and activists see this time as an opportunity to remake the city and shift its manufacturing workforce from cars to emerging industries. "We've always dealt with adversity," says Olga Stella, vice president for business development at Detroit Economic Growth.

A car town
Since Henry Ford founded the company that bears his name in 1903, this has been a car town. The auto industry's promise of steady jobs with good pay attracted European immigrants and workers from the South, and by 1950 Detroit was the USA's fourth-largest city.

"We need to work together to get the city from where it is to where everybody wants it to go," Mayor Dave Bingsaid after being elected this month.

Detroit's population remains loyal. Peggy Jones, 59, has lived here 32 years and won't leave, Jones is enrolled in Operation Able, which teaches computer skills to displaced workers 40 and older. With a $650,000 annual budget, it trains about 150 people a year. Students get eight weeks of training, followed by four weeks of help with job searches. If they don't find jobs during that month — and these days, they often don't — the organization works with them until they do. The success rate is about 75%.

To prepare them for jobs in other fields, the program has increased its emphasis on customer-service skills and plans to add training in "green" office practices.

Jones says Operation Able restored her confidence. She has had a couple of job interviews already.

Andrew McCray, 59, a Detroit native and Operation Able client, drove trucks that delivered cars to dealers before being laid off. He's hopeful about his future — and the city's. "I really do believe that we have to hold on and believe that things are going to get better," he says.

Focus: Hope, which was founded a year after 1967 riots and works to improve civil and human rights, is retooling its education and community programs to respond to urgent needs.

With a $25 million annual budget, the organization distributes food commodities to 41,000 people every month; trains machinists and information technology specialists; rehabilitates neighborhoods; and offers youth arts programs and preschool education.

CEO William Jones Jr. says Focus: Hope plans to shorten its machinists program so students can get into the workforce faster, expand its hours so classes are more convenient and create after-school programs.

"We get to do more than read the paper, read all the doom and gloom," Jones says. "We work with people who are determined to better their situation."

Changing cityscape
For two decades, The Greening of Detroit has been planting trees and gardens and cleaning up vacant property. Now the group is helping to lead discussions about a dramatically changed cityscape: allowing large swaths of the city to "naturalize" and become rural again, creating a natural corridor to give wildlife access to the Detroit River and encouraging urban farming.

Abandoned factories, Witt says, could be used to build wind turbines, solar cells and geothermal equipment. "This is no time for cowardice," she says. "We need to be brave, and we need to buy into a big vision collectively."

Bing, the new mayor, said during the campaign that he wants to reshape neighborhoods by asking residents of mostly empty parts of the city to move to areas with fewer vacant homes. Such a move would make providing city services, including police patrols, cheaper and more efficient.

Many neighborhoods already are blooming. In 2008, The Greening of Detroit supported 603 vacant lot, school and family gardens. This year, applications from individuals, community groups and schools quadrupled.

Besides soup kitchens, a food pantry that also distributes clothing and appliances, and a new bakery, the Capuchin friars give away 100,000 plants each year and operate Earthworks, an urban farm that last year grew 6,000 pounds of organic produce.

The city is working to attract new development and more diverse manufacturers. It is replacing old infrastructure such as roads and sewer and water lines in parts of downtown, Stella says. She believes the city can attract new employers to use auto industry facilities and workers to manufacture wind turbines, medical devices and other products.

"This is a difficult time, but we'll get through it," Stella says. "We always seem to."

Stepping up
People here are stepping up to help one another. Two years ago, Julie Kennedy-Carpenter created a website, Julie's List, as a hobby. Now it's a popular resource for laid-off workers who need financial, medical and emergency help. There are links to groups that give away clothing and food and to low-cost car repair and credit counseling.

Kennedy-Carpenter, who works for a Detroit-area community action agency, wanted to help people who didn't know where to find assistance or were too proud to ask. "A lot of people don't realize there's so much help out there," she says. She has never advertised, but people are spreading the word, and the site has gotten 50,000 hits.

Kennedy-Carpenter has no doubt that Detroit will rebound. "We're survivors here," she says.

Chris Vitale also went online when he was laid off — temporarily, he hopes — by Chrysler. His website, FairImage.org, explores how U.S. trade and energy policies affect the auto industry.

Vitale meets regularly with about 10 laid-off auto industry workers and retirees and tries to spread the message that U.S.-made vehicles and American workers are not inferior to those in Japan and South Korea.

"A lot of my co-workers and friends, they're just feeling hopeless," Vitale says, and the website is a way to channel his frustration into something positive. He hasn't given up on Detroit or Chrysler, where he has worked for 15 years. "We can come back," he says.

Help also is coming from outside Detroit. Children's Health Fund, a national health care provider and advocacy group, last month launched Kids Can't Wait here. The program will spend about $1.5 million to offer free medical and dental services to Detroit children with a mobile clinic that will make weekly stops.

Irwin Redlener, Children's Health Fund president and a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health states, "There seems to be an inherent cultural optimism that I found very engaging and uplifting." The attitude here, he says, is "we're down, but we're going to get back on our feet."

That's what Doreen Benguche, 33, is doing. A mother of three, she decided to go back to school after she was laid off from her bank-teller job in January. She's in a "fast-track" basic skills program at Focus: Hope and will soon start IT courses there.

Tears fill her eyes as she describes how the heartbreak of being laid off led to hope. "I was disappointed and distraught, but I had to turn it into a positive outcome," she says. "I can see the road ahead now."

Summer is approaching, which means that more than 250,000 kids in southeast Michigan who rely on free or reduced-fee meals in school will no longer be getting those meals.

Gleaners wants to keep child hunger at bay this summer by providing an additional 2 million nutritious meals, but we need your help.

Over the summer, we will be asking residents in specific communities to place a bag of food on their porch to help their hungry neighbors. Volunteers will collect the food and bring it back to a central site where a Gleaners truck will be loaded to take the food back to our warehouse for sorting and distribution to our partner soup kitchens, food pantries and other agencies.

You can get involved by joining a Hunger Hero Neighborhood Food Drive volunteer team, or by leaving food on your porch on the designated day for your neighborhood.

The dates and areas are:

May 30 Grosse Pointe area
June 13 S. Oakland County (Ferndale, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Berkley)
July 18 Farmington, Farmington Hills in conjunction with Founders Festival
July 25 Birmingham, Royal Oak, Bloomfield

Maps will be available shortly before the drives so you can confirm whether your block is included in the food drive.

Join a Neighborhood Food Drive Team!
We are looking for individuals and groups to help us canvass neighborhoods on the dates above. Volunteers will work in groups of 6: 2 cars with drivers and 4 walkers. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. and volunteers will collect food from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., including lunch and breaks. We will have a central location with a registration table, volunteers to help unload the food and a Gleaners truck to transport the food.

Drivers must be 18 or older and each group must have at least one cell phone. Each volunteer group will be given a map with specific streets they need to canvass. One car will drive down the street while walkers collect food off of porches and load it into the car. When the car is full, it will drive to a drop off site in the area while the other car is being filled. Walkers will be given safety vests and cars will have magnetic signs and green flashing lights for the roof to identify them as Gleaners volunteers.

Use our convenient online registration to volunteer for one or more of the neighborhood food drives. You will be contacted about your participation. If you have questions, please contact Stephanie Melnick by phone at 866-GLEANER (453-2637), ext. 270 or e-mail at smelnick@gcfb.org.
Kelli B. Kavanaugh
Model D

Old buildings. Detroit is chock full of 'em. People tend to view their value in architectural or historical terms, not environmental. After all, it’s eas(ier) to build a new building that is highly insulated and has a solar hot water heater than it is to take a drafty manse and make it efficient.

At least at a surface glance, it is.

But more Detroiters are ignoring conventional wisdom, taking matters into their own hands and going green within the city’s existing building stock. And many will point out rightly that that is actually greener than new construction -- as green renovations use all 3 Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Here are some of their stories.

City Hall? Really.

Considering that Detroit is just getting a pilot curbside recycling program off the ground, one would be forgiven for thinking that the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center has open windows in the winter, old-school space heaters tucked under desks and buzzing florescent bulbs that get left on all night.
You'd be way wrong.

For the third consecutive year, the building has received the Energy Star label from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy for its overall efficiency.

The building, which is owned and operated by the Detroit Wayne Joint Building Authority, has gone so green that it has saved taxpayers a bundle: $3 million over the past three years.

What's been done? Simple things like modifying building hours of operation to reduce electricity needs (implementing daytime cleaning and maintenance, for example, so lights aren't on all night), improving thermostatic controls and upgrading lighting by adding 18,000 high-efficiency lamps and electronic ballasts.

On top of that, heating and cooling systems have been upgraded and -- in what might be most progressive measure of all -- the flow of the Detroit River is used to chill computer systems.

Gregg McDufee, the building authority's general manager, estimates that this alone saves more than $700,000 per year in water charges.Overall utility consumption has been reduced by 50 percent, which has reduced tenant rent paid by the City of Detroit and Wayne County and allowed reinvestment in capital improvements such as the Spirit of Detroit statue restoration, renovation of the City Council auditorium and improvements to the Center’s automation system that will further reduce electrical consumption.

The authority's plans call for continued greening efforts, with the ultimate eye toward LEED certification for the building, the gold standard in building sustainability ratings.
PR Newswire

Detroiters have shown time and again their generosity and support for others is heartfelt and unwavering.

At a period when most headlines across the nation and world paint a somewhat bleak picture of Detroit and its future, nowhere do we feel a more determined spirit to rise above these challenges than right here in the Motor City.

Just ask any of the 30,000 plus participants and the more than 100 local sponsors and underwriters who will take part in the 2009 Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, on Saturday, May 30, at Comerica Park, in Detroit.

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute has been the local presenting sponsor of the Komen Detroit Race for the Cure for the past 17 years. Together, our community has rallied the support of family, friends, neighbors and coworkers to raise nearly $2.3 million in 2008 alone in the fight against breast cancer. As a result, a record $1.58 million funded breast health education, breast cancer screening and treatment programs in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, allowing the uninsured and underinsured to receive the needed services they might not otherwise get.

Additionally, $676,000 was contributed to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award and Research Grant Program, with much of this funding benefiting Michigan Scientists. Thanks to Race funds, Komen Detroit provides year-round resources toWayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Since 1992, the Detroit Race has raised a total of $15.4 million in the fight against breast cancer.

Detroiters are stepping up to the challenge to help end breast cancer. This year more than ever, we need everyone's support.

18th Annual Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk Locally presented by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Saturday, May 30, 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Comerica Park

To help save lives and end breast cancer forever.


There is something for participants of all ages at the Race. Ten thousand pink ribbons will decorate the Race route along Woodward; 20 bands and entertainment groups will perform for the walkers and runners; a variety of sponsors will have giveaways and offer exciting interactive activities for participants.

Children's Activities Area 10,000 Pink Ribbons 20 bands/entertainment groups Pink Carpet - Runway for Survivors Ford's Warriors in Pink Drummers Ford's Warriors in Pink interactive Trailer and Pace Car Survivor Cafe Survivor Trolley Numerous sponsors, giveaways, items to buy Shop for a Cure Awards Ceremony Many

Register: Online registration continues through 5 p.m., May 28.
Be a Sponsor: Sponsorships range from $1,000 and up and are still welcomed.
Volunteer: There is still a need for volunteers to help with Race duties.
Make a Donation: Perhaps you can't join us in person on May 30 but you want to help. Donations of all amounts are appreciated.
Sam Abuelsamid

Since our first encounter with General Motors' HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition) engines in August 2007, the powertrain research engineers at GM's Tech Center in Warren, MI have continued plugging away at the technology, trying to turn it into a marketable reality. The basic premise of compression ignition is simple.

Based on the Ideal gas law (PV=nRT), if you decrease the volume of a particular quantity of air, the temperature rises to the point where fuel will spontaneously combust. The hard part is controlling the pressure, temperature and air/fuel mixtures precisely enough to manage that combustion without causing excess noise and engine damage.

When we first tried the HCCI prototypes a couple of years ago, the engines had a fairly narrow band of HCCI operation with the engine running in basic spark ignition mode the rest of the time.

Thanks to a newly developed mixed-mode HCCI feature and external EGR, the engines can now run in HCCI from idle all the way to 60 mph.We had a chance to drive a Saturn Aura with an HCCI engine based on the 2.2-liter EcoTec four-cylinder around the streets near the Tech Center. The engine ran smoothly and transitions between HCCI and spark ignition really couldn't be felt.

The only indication of a transition was a slight ringing sound over the first couple of power cycles after transition.The basic hardware for a production HCCI engine is in place now, with the only new piece of hardware being a combustion chamber pressure sensor. GM is continuing to work on the control software to make this a robust system and even adapting the homogeneous charge and pressure sensors to diesel engines to reduce NOx emissions.

GM says that HCCI engines can achieve about a 15% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to a similar spark ignition engine – at a much lower cost than a hybrid. The automaker hopes to have HCCI engines in production in about five years.

A group of state legislators is urging that stunning Michigan Central train station be left standing, instead of being dynamited as the Detroit city council ordered last month.

The historic depot, an encore project from the team of architects who created Grand Central Station in NYC nearly a century ago, remains structurally sound but is in rough shape in all other respects after two decades of vandalism and neglect.

With more than 500,000 square feet of space on nearly 14 acres in proximity to critical state, regional and international infrastructure facilities, the Central Depot property has great potential to house a complimentary set of homeland security, intermodal transportation and economic development-related functions,” write the five state senators. “The property is ideally located in an area of unique intermodal convergence that includes the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, connections to three interstate highways, the Detroit-Wayne County Port and several freight lines."

The Detroit city council–which seems to have no clue on how to protect the remaining gems in that afflicted place–has yet to respond to the proposal.

The timing of the senators’ plea, though, is interesting. Just last week, the Michigan Messenger reported that the Canadian Pacific Railroad is seeking $400 million to build a new freight rail tunnel under the Detroit River and likely emerging in the middle of Michigan Central’s rail yard.

While building the tunnel would not necessarily save the structure, the proposal does seem to buttress the case made by preservationists that the complex still has economic value and is worth rehabilitating.
Voices of Detroit with Larry Henry and David Benjamin make a point of not only telling the great stories of Metro Detroit entrepreneurs and community leaders, but also doing the show at many locations around the area to highlight them.

This time we do both, as we visit the Whistle Stop Restaurant and Bakery in Birmingham and chat with owner Matt Rafferty.

And being "positive" people, how could Voices of Detroit not talk with Erin Rose who is the energy behind PositiveCities dot com.

Both Erin and Matt have a lively discussion with Larry and David in this edition of Voices of Detroit.

Click Here to Listen

Love and Laughs on Thursdays in Ferndale

Donald V. Calamia

Ferndale's newest hotspot is on a roll. Recently named Best Comedy Club by both Metro Times and Real Detroit Weekly, Go Comedy! Improv Theater has quickly become the region's home for quality improvisational comedy.

With unbridled enthusiasm and bucketloads of talent, Go Comedy's locally based improvisers prove time and again that every imaginable topic is subject to scrutiny, and that major laughs can be mined from the mundane to the uncomfortable - and everything in-between.

It's a philosophy that serves the theater well, especially on Thursday nights. Once filled with back-to-back, make-it-up-as-you-go improv shows, Go Comedy! is now devoting much of the evening to original scripted comedies created by some of the area's best and brightest talent. That certainly describes the cast and creators of its very funny second effort, "Love and Other Urban Legends," that had its official premiere May 14.

A revue-style comedy, "Love and Other Urban Legends" explores the trials and tribulations of love and dating as seen through the eyes and lives of three long-time, 30-something friends who meet weekly for breakfast to catch up on each others' lives. Each is scarred from a lifetime of experience: Beautiful Liz (Anne Faba) chases all the wrong men (and could be pregnant by one of them); "big-boned" Shannon (Suzie Jacokes) settled for her geeky, unpopular high school boyfriend; and still-single Craig (Marke Sobolewski) relates to romance and relationships through his favorite movies.

As the three catch up on their most recent escapades, flashbacks reveal the defining moments of their lives - from an eighth grade dance where a clueless Shannon tries to profess her love to a totally uninterested Craig (who's still safely ensconced in the closet), to the heart-to-heart talk Craig has with his mother that reveals far more family history than he wants - or needs - to hear. And what they discover is this: that their actions in the past have serious consequences in the present, yet it's never too late to change the future.

"Love and Other Urban Legends" is yet another fine example of what Detroit's improv community does best: It tells compelling human interest stories, but from a unique and funny perspective. And while their topics and dialogue might be a bit raw or shocking to those weaned on the more polished or cerebral works of established mainstream playwrights, comedies such as this offer a much-needed platform to a street-level generation of young and energetic artists. They, too, have equally important things to say - particularly about their lives in the turbulent 21st century - and as a result, some of the most creative, innovative and refreshing (although rarely the slickest) works in the area are happening these days on the stages of theaters such as Go Comedy!

The script, written by Faba and Jacokes with Sobolewski, calls upon all three actors to play multiple roles. While each is fine with their primary role, Jacokes, a graduate of Wayne State's theater program, is especially skilled at creating believable secondary characters, most notably as Jack, Liz's undesirable boyfriend. And a powerful scene in which Shannon and her soon-to-be ex-husband finally have an honest discussion proves her range and versatility as an actress.